The Flying Taro- Hawaii

Here’s a short and sweet story from the Big Island of Hawaii. This one is fascinating because the stars of the story are plants and not an animal or person. The legend comes from the book Tales Told in Hawaii. Enjoy!

The Flying Taro

In the days when Hawaii had chiefs, and that was only yesterday, there lived in a taro patch of south Kona two beautiful taro plants who loved each other dearly.

One day the chief said, “Gather those two plants for the feast tomorrow.” The lovers trembled and moved to another place in the patch.

The next day the chief saw the same plants in his patch and again he ordered them for a feast. Again the lovers fled and escaped death. This happened again and again, and angered the chief. Finally, they took wing and fled from taro patch to another. All Kona, all Hawaii, sympathized with the taro plants.

The Flying Taro (Hawaii)

“The Flying Taro,” illustration courtesy of Tara Bonvillain, copyright 2018.

At last they flew to King Kamehameha who stood beside his taro patch. Behind the flying plants came the angry chief. Kamehameha caught the tired lovers in his hands, and stooping, he planted them as tenderly as a mother putting her own sick child to bed.

The chief groveled in shame before the king.

Kamehameha rose. “Stand up, my chiefling, and receive my thanks for your gift of the flying taro. I am honored by so brave a gift. When I am weary of the trials the gods have sent, I shall come and rest my eyes on these brave plants and fill my soul with courage.”

In the taro patch the king, the lovers lived to old age surrounded by their children, and their children’s children.

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